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We’re in a bit of Steve Nashapalooza at the moment.
There was yesterday’s story after Woj did his thing and broke news about the coming Hall of Fame induction and tomorrow they’ll make it official and we’ll get some words from the man himself and I’ve got a bit more squirreled away to enhance the Saturday for Sunday piece, I hope.
Now, I don’t think there was ever going to be any doubt that a two-time NBA MVP who helped change the game forever was going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer so the news is hardly surprising.
But I also don’t know if we can appreciate what Nash was and did and I’m going to throw this out there today and take the slings and arrows that most assuredly will come.
Steve Nash has to be right among the greatest athletes Canada has ever produced and there’s a very valid argument to make that he would be No. 1.
He dominated a truly global sport in the best league in the world, something no other Canadian can really say.
Gretzky was what he was in a game basically ignored in two-thirds of the world; brilliant Olympians like, say, Cindy Klassen or Donovan Bailey or Clara Hughes or Gaetan Boucher would be in the discussion but, again, depth of field, longevity and global participation in their sports counts in my estimation.
The only other truly global game would be soccer and while Christine Sinclair is a singular talent, I don’t think the women’s game is played at a high enough level in enough countries for her to be in the discussion. Men’s soccer? It is to laugh.
The distant past – the Lionel Conachers, for instance – was a different era and there’s some apples and oranges in those discussions, valid though some of them are.
No, Nash, a two-time MVP and, don’t forget, a runner-up to his buddy Dirk the next year, was in a game that is played worldwide, a league that has the cream of Earth’s crop, at an era when basketball became far more fluid which allowed the best to be the very best.
He was a four-time 50-40-90 guy (check out what that means and who did or did not achieve it in their careers) and there are those in the game who swear he should be a short list of the greatest pure shooters in NBA history, as well.
I know that all these kinds of “lists” are purely subjective and I know there is no right or wrong. They’re fine chats to have on stools and around dinner tables and nothing will ever be clearly settled, nor should it.
But if someone asks me who the greatest Canadian athlete ever was at this moment, I’ve got Nash.
In all my years on Earth, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bonnet.
I want a bonnet.
Cadbury mini-eggs are the greatest of Easter chocolates, I contend.
And the bunnies you get on Sunday should be light milk chocolate and solid, not just shells.
You should eat the ears first and then the body and, yeah, you can knock the whole thing off in one sitting if you want. In fact, I’d probably suggest that.
As for your Easter dinner, if that’s your thing, go with ham over the turkey and I don’t know how I’m going to have fish today before heading to the 905ers game but I’ll have to try.
All right, mail’s tomorrow but we’re down a few pints and can use some help.
Got a ton of work to finish today so it might not get up until mid-morning but if you’d like to play along, drop a line or six into firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll feel better about yourself.
And I’d love to hear from you.
So, the pucks are in the post-season?
Will at least deflect some attention from our own playoff run with the far more successful, other ACC tenant and that’s okay.
Keeping the numbers down is never a bad thing this time of year.
The Hoop Talks thing went really well the other night as it always does and even though I probably shouldn’t have called the guy a bad name answering a silly question, I think everyone had a good time.
And I tell ya, the young Ashley Docking who does the hosting/moderating job – thankless though it is – does a tremendous job keeping us, and the crowd, somewhat focused and on point. Not an easy task.
I know she’s done a bunch of radio at The Fan, mostly in the mornings, and someone should give her a full-time gig over there.
The local sports radio market it far too dominated by middle-aged males, I think a regular women’s voice and opinion would be quite welcome and somewhat important.
So hire her, would you?
Forget all the Opening Day stuff from yesterday – not too difficult a task if you’re from around these parts – because this was the best story of the day.
Basically some random accountant dude who plays rec hockey ends up tending the goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in some emergency situation.
Made some saves, got some fame, seemed to have a good time and for all the Regular Joes out there, it had to be a heart-warming tale.
I tell ya, if you were a Hawks beat writer and the season’s in the toilet it was like last-season story from heaven.
Lots of logical comments from the Raptors about their lot in life heading into a kinda big five-day stretch with two against the Bostons and one in Cleveland to try to handle.
We’ll have a bit more on it post-practice later today but this fro Fred VanVleet yesterday kind of established the baseline and what’s going through their minds.
“I know people talk about the 60 wins. If we get it, that’s great, obviously we’re not going into any game trying to lose, but we want the one seed, we want the best record that we can have.
“And more important than all of that stuff, we just want to be playing good basketball going into the post-season, feeling good about ourselves, we had a little slippage with the defence, felt like the Denver game was a little better, and we’ve just got to keep trending upwards and like I said keep feeling good about our play going into (the playoffs).”
That’s honestly what it’s about; I know the Cs are not going away and who knows who’s gonna finish fourth, fifth or sixth let alone seventh or eighth so with everything so muddled, it does have to be about them more than anything.